Update on pipe leaks in new homes

  • Building and Energy is investigating polybutylene pipe failures in some new homes
  • Affected consumers should contact their builder in the first instance
  • Pipe manufacturer, Iplex Australia, has announced interim remedy arrangements

Western Australia’s building and plumbing regulator is investigating the cause of water leaks from burst polybutylene pipes, which have mostly occurred in homes built in 2019 and 2020.

Building and Energy has carried out testing on pipe samples taken from affected properties. Findings so far show the leaks are principally from Pro-fit pipes manufactured by Iplex Australia between mid-2017 to mid-2022.

Building and Energy has engaged with Fletcher Building, the parent company of Iplex Australia, to discuss the matter.

Fletcher Building has since announced that Iplex Australia has proposed interim arrangements with two large WA group home builders to help them respond to the pipe failures and in turn assist homeowners. The two building groups involved are understood to have constructed about 90 per cent of the homes currently affected by the pipe leakages.

Under the proposed interim arrangements, in the event of a burst, the builders will replace the pipes in the ceiling – if they are of the Pro-fit brand and were manufactured between mid-2017 to mid-2022 – and repair related damage.

Home owners with concerns about their hot and cold water polybutylene pipe products should contact their builder in the first instance. The builder is responsible for addressing building defects within six years of a home’s practical completion.

“These incidents have caused stress and inconvenience for many home owners,” Building and Energy Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said.

“We are working hard to complete a thorough investigation into whether this is a product manufacturing issue, substandard workmanship during installation or a combination of both.

“While the investigation is in progress, I am encouraged that Iplex Australia and its parent group, Fletcher Building, are working proactively with builders to put interim arrangements in place to assist consumers.”

Building and Energy has set up an online register for consumers to lodge their details if they are affected by burst pipes.


Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au

Building and Energy
Media release
18 Apr 2023

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